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J Transl Med. 2018 Oct 1;16(1):268. doi: 10.1186/s12967-018-1644-y.

Chronic viral infections in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Author information

1
Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Rīga Stradiņš University, Riga, Latvia.
2
Biocenter, Chair of Microbiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
3
Department of Virology, National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia, Bulgaria.
4
Department of Internal Medicine 3, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Erlangen, Germany.
5
Institute for Medical Immunology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow, Berlin, Germany.
6
Biocenter, Chair of Microbiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany. bhupesh.prusty@uni-wuerzburg.de.
7
Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, Würzburg, Germany. bhupesh.prusty@uni-wuerzburg.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND MAIN TEXT:

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex and controversial clinical condition without having established causative factors. Increasing numbers of cases during past decade have created awareness among patients as well as healthcare professionals. Chronic viral infection as a cause of ME/CFS has long been debated. However, lack of large studies involving well-designed patient groups and validated experimental set ups have hindered our knowledge about this disease. Moreover, recent developments regarding molecular mechanism of pathogenesis of various infectious agents cast doubts over validity of several of the past studies.

CONCLUSIONS:

This review aims to compile all the studies done so far to investigate various viral agents that could be associated with ME/CFS. Furthermore, we suggest strategies to better design future studies on the role of viral infections in ME/CFS.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarkers; ME/CFS; Viral infections

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